The “found footage” genre of horror films can be a tricky film style to work with. Unfortunately, a lot of filmmakers tend to use the style as a crutch to make a cheap and easy horror film. However, a few have actually utilized it in a way that is meaningful to the overall narrative of the film. “Delivery” is one of those movies.
Rachel (Laurel Vail) and Kyle Massy (Danny Barclay) are the subjects of a new reality show about couples who are expecting. The show is, of course, called “Delivery.” Rick (Rob Cobuzio) is the creator of the show and he’s determined to make it the next big reality hit. However, something horrific and tragic happens during the shooting of the show and the project is scrapped. Rick can’t let it go though and now he wants the world to know what happened during Rachel’s pregnancy. Assembling over 200 hours of footage Rick creates a documentary, complete with testimonials and expert analysis, to shine some light on the mysterious tragedy surrounding the failed reality show.
Given that it’s a film about a couple dealing with supernatural elements it’s easy to see how people would jump to the “Paranormal Activity” comparison. However, that really doesn’t provide an apt description of this film. Instead a better comparison would be “The Tunnel” which was an Australian horror movie that was structured in a similar way.
The unique premise of the film allows for the story to be constructed and laid out in an interesting way. The first act of the film is actually the pilot episode of the failed reality show. And it is literally constructed like a reality show you would see on cable television. There’s a cheesy musical intro, a TV rating on the corner of the screen, and plenty of drama. Halfway through I forgot I was watching a horror movie and became engrossed in the troubles of this reality show couple as if it were the real thing. It’s a really well crafted segment that winds up being the funniest part of the movie as it pokes fun at some of the cheesy melodrama that goes into creating a reality show.
Once the pilot episode is over, the film switches over to the raw footage of the camera crew for the majority of the film. This gives a believable reason for cameras to be everywhere in the house as not only do Rachel and Kyle have the crew following them, but they’re given cameras to record themselves and cameras are installed throughout the house to capture every minute of their pregnancy. So you’re never left wondering “Why don’t you put the camera down and run?!” As every moment is captured in a believable way.
As the raw footage plays out before us, the documentary part of the movie cuts in every now and then to give us context about what’s going on in a scene. An expert might come in and give us an opinion about something that happened or Rick might talk about his experience with the Massy couple. However, none of it is done a hokey way and it doesn’t draw you out of the film. The inclusion of the documentary bits really serve to enhance the story and further build upon the mystery of the events happening to Rachel and Kyle.
And there is a bit of mystery to the film. Though the film seems to indicate that there are supernatural or demonic elements at play, it does leave enough room for the viewer to question the things they are seeing. Is the EVP just electronic interference? Is the camera acting funny because he dropped it? Is Rachel really under attack or is she just crazy? And while the film does seem to have a definitive answer to this question, it does leave you thinking long after it’s done.
The scares might also linger with you as well. Though the film relies on a lot of jump cuts and sudden noises to keep the audience on edge, there were a few moments that generally gave me chills. In particular, there’s a scene where Rick talks about an EVP they found and that whole bit made the hairs on my arm prickle. Just thinking about it makes me never want to hear that sound again. However, the real powerful moment for me was the finale of the film. The final few seconds will be forever burned into my brain.
That being said, I know that some people don’t find these types of movies to be particularly scary and that’s completely understandable. If you don’t think movies like “Paranormal Activity” or even “Rosemary’s Baby” are scary, than you probably won’t find any big chills here. However, if you enjoyed either of those movies I think you’ll have a great time with “Delivery.”
If you want to catch “Delivery” you’ll have one more chance before it leaves the LA Film Festival. It’ll be playing again this Friday at 7:30 pm. Be sure to visit the official LA Film Fest site here for more information. Also, be sure to check out our interview with the films director and writer which you can read here.